[사설] Early voting on the 5th and 6th… We need to filter out bad candidates with cool-headed judgment.

[사설] Early voting on the 5th and 6th…  We need to filter out bad candidates with cool-headed judgment.

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Advance voting station installation in full swing (Seoul = Yonhap News) Reporter Kim In-cheol = Preparations for an early voting station are in full swing at the Bomun-dong Community Center in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul on the 4th, a day before the early voting for the 22nd National Assembly election. Originally a book cafe, the bookshelves here will be covered with white cloth during the voting period. 2024.4.4 [email protected]/2024-04-04 14:30:52/ <저작권자 ⓒ 1980-2024 ㈜연합뉴스. 무단 전재 재배포 금지, AI 학습 및 활용 금지>

Advance voting for the 22nd general election will be held for two days starting today. The participation rate in advance voting, which was first introduced in the by-elections in April 2013, has been steadily increasing. In a recent survey by the National Election Commission, 41.4% of voters who were willing to vote said they would vote in advance. The convenience of being able to vote anywhere in the country, regardless of address, is analyzed as the reason for driving voter turnout. Although some conservatives still raise the possibility of voting fraud, the positive effect of increasing overall voter turnout is increasingly being emphasized.

Each party is actively encouraging its supporters to vote in advance. The People Power Party believes that the conventional wisdom that ‘the higher the advance voting rate and total voter turnout are, the more advantageous it is for progressive parties’ no longer applies. The situation has changed because young people in their 20s and 30s do not necessarily support the Democratic Party of Korea. The Democratic Party also predicts that if the early voting rate exceeds 30%, the total voter turnout will exceed the mid-60% range, which is considered the party’s winning formula, and can even surpass the 70% range. Both the ruling and opposition parties believe that they can win only by calling as many of their supporters to the polls as possible during the three-day voting period, which includes two days of advance voting and one day of the main vote. Which party the 2030 generation will vote for this time is also considered a key variable.

Voters must carefully consider a candidate’s morality and pledges before casting their precious vote. In this general election, an unusually large number of rogue candidates who were not qualified to be members of the National Assembly received nominations from major political parties. There are quite a few candidates who use abusive language, make illegal loans, or are involved in crimes. Democratic Party candidate Kim Jun-hyuk (Suwonjeong, Gyeonggi-do) is facing criticism from public opinion due to his ‘remark that Kim Hwal-ran, the first president of Ewha Womans University, offered sexual favors to students to U.S. military officers.’ The illegal circumstances of Democratic Party candidate Yang Moon-seok (Ahn San-gap), who disguised his college student daughter as a business owner and borrowed 1.1 billion won to buy an apartment in Gangnam, are becoming clearer. In the Fatherland Innovation Party, half of the top 10 proportional representation candidates are criminals. The People Power Party also received nominations from 22 people with drunk driving convictions in the district alone.

In this general election, there were unusually frequent changes in candidates for each party. This means that candidates were chosen in a hurry as the election was imminent and the verification of candidates was poor. This is why voters’ cool-headed judgment is required more than in any past election. The more politicians disappoint the people, the more they must go to the polls and show an example of wrong politics. The power of voters comes from voting. We must not forget this fact and actively participate in early voting.

[ⓒ 세계일보 & Segye.com, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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